Moderna’s reformulated mRNA COVID injection, the highly touted — and continuously delayed — “Omicron vaccine,” was tailored to an Omicron subvariant that no longer exists.
The pharmaceutical company’s Omicron-specific shot was formulated for the BA.1 subvariant of Omicron, which hasn’t been identified in genomic surveillance for several months.
Here’s the data directly from the CDC’s genomic surveillance tracker:
As you can see, BA. 1 is now registering at 0%, and it has been superseded by several newer variants.
Moderna is seeking approval for an omicron-specific booster that it hopes to distribute in the fall. The shot was tested against BA.1 and was more effective, but it’s unclear how effective it’ll be against current omicron strains. https://t.co/Uv2DHm1OKQ
— Yasmeen Abutaleb (@yabutaleb7) June 8, 2022
Moderna released a press release Wednesday touting its Omicron injection, but admitted that the “shot elicited a weaker response versus BA.4 and BA.5,” according to Reuters. Moreover, the shot has not even been tested on the latest subvariant, BA 2.12.1.
The Massachusetts-based biotech company drove tons of positive press for its preliminary findings that were released a couple of weeks ago, ostensibly showing that the Omicron booster performed better than the original shot. However, those findings were solely performed on the sub variant that is no longer in circulation, rendering that data completely useless.
As for how many Omicron shots you should take in addition to your 4 to 5 older injections, Moderna hasn’t yet nailed down “the science” on that either.
“It is probably long lasting and I think the conclusions are that boosting or primary vaccination with (the updated vaccine) really could be a turning point in our fight against SARS-cov-2 virus,” Moderna Chief Medical Officer Paul Burton said in a press conference Wednesday. You can’t help but notice the overly cautious language from Moderna’s CMO.